The Story of Daleth (Psalm 119)

I'm in the process of reading Psalm 119 in my morning bible study time, and loving it! In the past I've kind of avoided Psalm 119, because it's such a very long chapter. The overall theme is the importance and power of God's word, laws and precepts. I didn't realize the entire psalm is an acrostic, with each section beginning with a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

This morning I read verses 25-32, and I realized this passage reads like a story! (Okay, yeah, I write novels, so maybe everything reads like a story to me.) We follow a character on a journey. We can call our character Daleth, which is actually a letter in the Hebrew alphabet; or maybe we can call our character Ginny, or (substitute YOUR name).

Daleth's story begins in verse 25: "I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word." Obviously, Daleth is in a bad place. He's set out on this journey and he realizes the task is completely beyond his capabilities. He needs help, and he calls on the Lord to help him.

In verse 26 and 27 he receives the help he asked for. He starts studying the map for his journey, but some things aren't very clear. "I recounted my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees. Let me understand the teaching of your precepts..."

Just as often happens on the journeys of my life, Daleth's journey doesn't immediately get easier. The road is still rough. The roadmap he's been given seems overwhelming and hard to follow. He wants to, but it's hard! "My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law." (verses 28-28).

Finally in verses 30 and 31 Daleth makes a decision. He chooses to follow the map no matter what. "I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, O Lord."

So now our hero, Daleth, is on the road. He has memorized the map. He has crossed some rough parts in the road and received strength from the Maker of the map. He has made a decision that nothing will stop him - he has chosen to follow the map no matter what. And what happens? He finally gets over the rough part of the road and finds the smooth path. "I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free." (verse 32). Can't you just see Daleth, running down a beautifully smooth path laid through the middle of a beautiful green pasture, beside a refreshing lake of cool water, the sun shining in the sky overhead? He's free! And he's running toward the treasure at the end of the road.

And Daleth (and Ginny, and YOU) lived happily ever after. The end.